Can you share your journey into interventional radiology and what inspired you to pursue this specialty?

I first entered medicine to be a cardiac surgeon. But when I assisted to a cardiac valve replacement and coronary bypass… I realized the surgery was interesting but way too long for my taste!

When I did my radiology rotation as a medical student, I discovered a specialty that embraced all my interests in anatomy and diagnostics. Then, I visited an IR suite, and all the lights went on in my brain! I was immediately attracted by the major change it did to the patient’s life with minimal invasiveness. This specialty would allow me to treat and follow-up patients for a specific problem, and use my skills in diagnostic radiology to achieve my treatment plan. It was just the perfect specialty for me.

I now work in a university hospital, and specialize in peripheral vascular intervention, aorto-iliac intervention, non-vascular intervention, and oncology.

What are some key challenges you faced as a woman in interventional radiology, and how did you overcome them?

Before I had kids, I didn’t feel a real difference between my work and my male colleague’s work.

But since I became a mom, I have felt more challenges, especially in organizing my time to fit everything… I’m very lucky to have a husband who can miss work more easily than me, so he can be there for the last-minute appointments or when kids are sick.

I have the best colleagues, who also have their own personal responsibilities. It happens that we switch our schedules to have time off when necessary.

What advice do you have for women who are aspiring to enter the field of interventional radiology?

For me, being a woman doesn’t change anything regarding having interest and passion for the specialty. If you are creative, proactive, you like to challenge your brain to find solutions to problems you didn’t know could exist, you enjoy teamwork with colleagues and consultants, and you’re interested in improving patient’s life with minimally invasive procedures, you really should become an interventional radiologist!

How do you handle situations where you may be the only woman in a professional setting, and what advice do you have for navigating such scenarios?

Being a woman in a “male-only team”, I bring some empathy to patient care, and I might have a more sensitive side that helps with some patients who are more afraid or nervous before procedures.

How do you balance the demands of interventional radiology with family responsibilities, and what advice do you have for women aiming to achieve this balance?

Being a mom and an IR are two great adventures that can overlap. I brought my kids to meetings when they were babies, some of you have probably met them! Now they check the images over my shoulder if I’m on call at night (they still have a long way to go before they become radiologists, though!).

Although I would like to NOT have on-call weekends, the whole family knows it’s impossible, so when I have weekends off, I take more time with the kids and the family. I prioritize my family whenever possible.

And I also feel very good now that I attend the meetings alone and have a break from the madness!